Sleep disorders are one of the most frequent comorbidities in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Heterogeneous sleep problems in children with ASD have been reported, and insomnia has a prevalence in children with ASD ranging from 60% to 86%. Poor sleep can cause harmful effects on cognitive functions, fostering the appearance of aggression, irritability, inattention, and hyperactivity in children with ASD. Sleep disorders can also be related to the severity of the core symptoms of ASD, including social cognition and communication, stereotypic behavior, and hypersensitivity to the environment. The etiology of sleep disorders in children with ASD is multifactorial, related to complex interactions between biological factors and psychological, socio-environmental, and family factors. From the therapeutic perspective, interventions should only be considered after any medical conditions potentially contributing to sleep disorders have been carefully evaluated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health